Archive for the ‘multiplatform’ Category

Links for Orna

Some concrete examples of multiplatform TV (factual)

The Great British Property Scandal (case study video)

George Clarke Great British Property Scandal

Seven Days (case study video)

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Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic (case study video)

embarrassing-bodies-series-3

Big Fish Fight  (case study video)

hughs-big-fish-fight

D-Day as it happens (post-TX website)

dday

Foxes Live (post-TX website)

foxes_live

 

The New Rules of Engagement

This extract from Broadcast is based on a roundtable discussion about the state of play of multiplatform and interactivity around TV.

The new rules of engagement

14 March, 2013 | By 

What are broadcasters and producers bringing to the table in multiplatform projects – and how can they make them pay? Broadcast brought together the key players at a roundtable sponsored by Xbox

Broadcast 150313

ROUNDTABLE THE PANEL

Alex Farber (chair) Web editor, Broadcast
Adam Gee Multiplatform commissioner of factual, Channel 4
Harvey Eagle Marketing director, Xbox UK
Paul Bennun Chief creative officer, Somethin’ Else
Peter Cowley Managing director, Spirit Media
Victoria Jaye Head of IPTV and TV online content, BBC Vision
Anthony Rose Founder, Zeebox
Janine Smith Creative director, Zodiak Active

Why is innovation so important?

Paul Bennun All of us want to create wonderful services, products and content that is going to be enjoyed and used by as many people as possible. You can’t just think about programmes any more; you have to use design-thinking, and that means employing more than one platform.

Do viewers want innovation?

Anthony Rose When there was only black-and-white TV, it’s unlikely people were clamouring for colour; they didn’t know it was possible. As a developer, you take bigger bets on things that you think have a high chance of succeeding and smaller bets on things that are fun to try. That’s the joy of innovation.

How do they engage with content?

AR Once the BBC filmed beautiful things for TV, then it began producing programme pages online, then second- screen apps. Then Twitter arrived offering conversations around content. The nirvana is that some programmes could be completely interactive. Imagine The Voice where the audience is the fifth chair.

PB I disagree, I do not want to be calling the shots on a football match. I want a director to tell that story because they can do a better job than I can. Interactive dramas that try to work on a mass scale tend to be worse than a simple linear experience.

Adam Gee But Embarrassing Bodies: Live From The Clinic is exactly in that space. You can watch the show at 8pm and have been on it by 9pm. It throws the emphasis back on live TV, which is good for advertising. There is a sweet spot between TV and interactive where you can get mass participation and rewarding, new experiences.

Janine Smith We have reached a point where we can learn from things we have done, and develop new formats where the multiplatform element is integral and not just an extended add-on.

There is a sweet spot between TV and interactive where you can get mass participation and rewarding, new experiences.  Adam Gee, Channel 4

Has the role of the broadcaster changed?

AG It’s critical to ask what you can bring as a broadcaster that no one else can. Facebook, Twitter or Zeebox couldn’t make Live From The Clinic. You want to get to a position where if you extract the digital from the TV, it’s a lesser programme and vice-versa.

VJ Programming is still one of the key catalysts for social discussion. You’ve got to put something great out there for the audience to get excited about. Only we can bring Sir David Attenborough to Twitter for a chat about Africa.

AG I always ask if what is being proposed is better than a really good TV show and Twitter. Big Fat Gypsy Weddings is one of the biggest factual formats on Channel 4, but there’s nothing much that we can usefully bring to the party in that case – so we don’t…

Peter Cowley Editorially I agree, but if you were a purely commercial broadcaster you might have a different view.

PB When the BBC removed its multiplatform commissioning, it effectively started presenting itself to the world as a TV commissioner. Because the BBC measures itself on its performance with TV programmes, it isn’t measuring the success of its digital formats.

AG We’re in a different place at C4. The past 18 months has been about trying to find the passage from digital to television. I’m working on a panel show that started life as an online arts commission; it’s a sign of maturity that this direction of travel is now possible.

How mainstream are multiplatform projects becoming?

VJ Media literacy is a big job for the BBC. The challenge is: how do you invite and choreograph 6 million people to download an app and play along with a 35-year-old programme such as Antiques Roadshow?

HE We are now trying to expand our audience beyond core gamers by creating content and entertainment experiences with broader appeal.

Who are the emerging players?

VJ Felix Baumgartner’s space dive really showcased the mixed economy: a 10-minute live event, funded by Red Bull, with 8 million YouTube viewers, followed by a BBC documentary funded via a completely different model with National Geographic. It shows the new players that are bringing audiences content.

PB Red Bull has no broadcast infrastructure overheads. It will ask how something executes across the different platforms and won’t draw any distinctions. We made Red Bull’s Bedroom Jam, which included an online music competition and a live broadcast. A programme doesn’t sum up what we’re trying to achieve any more.

HE We’re trying to go beyond the console model and become a service that exists across multiple devices.

AG The new YouTube channels are an area where TV baggage is damaging. Some have squeezed out everything that’s really good about YouTube. You want that energy that comes from someone being able to record, edit and bang something out in three hours.

Extract published courtesy of Broadcast

Broadcast New Rules of Engagement

 

 

The Next 30 Years of Channel 4

2nd November marked the 30th anniversary of Channel 4. Here’s an extract from an article published by Broadcast to mark the event -

How C4 must approach its next 30 years

by Dr James Bennett of Royal Holloway, University of London, derived from a 2-year study he was involved in about the role independent production companies play in the cultures and economics of Public Service Broadcasting and “its multiplatform future”.

But the cultural commitment from indies to C4’s public service remit might be under threat. Decreasing production budgets from broadcasters and the imperative to sell formats overseas as a result of producers’ retention of IP rights following the 2003 Communication Act have resulted in aversion to risk. This has the potential to undermine the creation of the kind of challenging, innovative, diverse and engaging programming that has been the hallmark of C4. Senior producers worried that younger generations lacked the skill set and training in public service modes of production that had been so pivotal to their success.

Yet a movement away from the 30 year cultural commitment to public service broadcasting would only harm UK plc: it is PSB that makes UK content unique, innovative, challenging and sellable around the world.

There remain grounds for optimism. Not least because of the cultural commitment to PSB found across so many independents, but also because of Channel 4’s investment in multiplatform production and digital platforms.

From apps that increase our awareness of sexual health – Embarrassing Bodies – to successful multiplatform ethical fishery campaign – Fish Fight – C4 has taken some its pioneering, challenging and innovative approach to public service online. And it is taking a group of talented digital producers, committed and passionate about public service, with it. If it can balance profit and public service, and its commitment to diversity of independent suppliers with the need to foster a close relationship with digital indies, C4 can help create a digital public service sector that will ensure the broadcaster’s continuing relevance for a multiplatform future.

{Extract published courtesy of Broadcast}

Hotel GB opening its doors

Next up from these quarters is Hotel GB – kicks off on Monday night at 9pm on Channel 4. In terms of Multiplatform the emphasis is on lively chat and social media, which is why we’re working closely with Twitter. As my friend Judyth put it last weekend, “you’re a pill-sugarer” – I am indeed a pusherman (my theme tune is here), in the business of disguising public value and learning in colourful shells of celebrity and entertainment. The vibe on the location this morning was positively party-like – I chatted with Gordon Ramsay, Mary Portas, Kirstie Allsopp and Gok and all seemed really up for it, having fun for five days whilst highlighting some critical issues around young people and employment at this particular juncture. Meanwhile Tim Lovejoy and Sara Cox are psyched about diving in for some online banter. Here’s some stuff from Broadcast about it…

Twitter & C4 tie-up for Hotel GB

28 September, 2012 | By 

Channel 4 has forged a direct partnership with Twitter to boost activity around its forthcoming reality show Hotel GB.

Twitter broadcast partnerships executive Dan Biddle has been working closely with C4 and production company Maverick Television to ensure the stripped show’s social media champions Sara Cox and Tim Lovejoy are as effective as possible.

@sarajcox and @timlovejoy, who have 496,000 and 477,000 followers respectively, have been appointed to act as online cheerleaders for each team throughout the show which airs on Monday.

The social networking site has provided behind-the-scenes technical input such as statistical analysis, best practice guidelines and extra code.

The @C4HotelGB profile, which currently has 3,500 followers, was also handed a verified account status immediately.

C4 has previously paid for promoted tweets on the site but is not thought to have worked so closely on a single show before.

Maverick’s production team, led by multiplatform executive producer Claire McArdle, will manage the celebrities updates throughout the series without input from Twitter.

C4 multiplatform commissioning editor of features and fact ent Adam Gee said the input from Twitter would significantly boost the profile of the Hotel GB.

“They have given us a lot of good tips as to how to squeeze the most out of the show via the site,” said Gee. “They have vast pools of knowledge which have provided us with ideas we wouldn’t have had ourselves.”

McCardle added the insights provided by Twitter had been as detailed as how to manage multiple hashtags within a single tweet.

“Their interest in how we are using the site to magnify the show gives us a sense we are trying something new around it,” she said. “It’s like we have been given a real-life verification tick.”

C4 recruits celebs to cheerlead Hotel GB

14 September, 2012 | By 

Channel 4 is to recruit two celebrity social media cheerleaders to build engagement with its factual entertainment series Hotel GB.

The broadcaster will tap into the yet-to-be-confirmed male and female celebrities’ huge online followings to reach a significant audience quickly during October’s stripped five-part show.

Each will be allocated a team to support throughout the series, which will see Gordon Ramsay and Mary Portas turn a hotel into a fundraising training ground for unemployed people.

C4 multiplatform commissioning editor of features and fact ent Adam Gee said the ephemeral nature of the show meant making an instant impact was vital.

“It will be a huge multiplatform live event with the main focus on oiling the wheels of social media because the show has a strong entertainment focus,” he said. “The cheerleaders will wind each other up and get their followers behind their teams in a playful way.”

Maverick Television has been appointed to manage the digital activity surrounding the show, which is being produced by its All3Media sister indie Optomen.

Maverick multiplatform executive producer Claire McArdle said the stripped series had insufficient time to organically grow its own social media profile. “To ramp up quickly we must partner with people who are already out there,” she said.

McArdle, who will lead a team embedded round-the-clock in the undisclosed London hotel, said the main site would feature a blog style format, including a quiz, updates and behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.

It will also offer links to career resources.

A standalone casting tool, which will be rolled out to support other shows, will enable viewers to appear in Hotel GB.

{articles reproduced courtesy of Broadcast}

Clean Sweep – Broadcast Digital Awards 2012

C4 and BBC4 triumph at Broadcast Digital Awards

21 June, 2012 | By 

Channel 4 made a clean sweep of the multiplatform categories at the Broadcast Digital Awards on Wednesday [20th June 2012], with four wins.

Indie-made projects for C4 won Best Game (The Bank Job), Best App (Facejacker), Best Website (Sexperience), Best Multiplatform Project (Live From The Clinic).

C4 also landed a fifth award, for Best News or Current Affairs, for the Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields website.

{extract published courtesy of Broadcast}

Fantastic Plastic for Live from the Clinic handed over by Mr Gilbert, headmaster of The In-betweeners (Greg Davies)

 

Appiness

My most recent project, released last week to mark the start of Series 2 of Live from the Clinic, is 3 Embarrassing Bodies-branded iPhone apps. Here’s the story so far as related by Broadcast today:

Embarrassing Bodies apps near 400,000 downloads in one week

23 May, 2012 | By 

The new trio of Embarrassing Bodies iPhone apps have been downloaded nearly 400,000 times since the start of the new series of Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic last week.

The main app – My HealthChecker – has had over 300,000 downloads alone. The app includes new tests for eyesight, colour blindness tests, as well as memory and lung function tests. Users can track their results over time and compare them anonymously with the other users.

Sister app My MoleChecker has been downloaded 71,681 times since the launch of the new series, while My SelfChecker has been downloaded 15,061 times.

It is the first time the trio of apps have been made available on mobile and have been developed by Maverick Television, which is also producing the 8 x 60-minute show currently on air.

The MyHealthChecker app has topped the iTunes app store free download chart. C4 multi-platform commissioner Adam Gee, who ordered all three of the apps, said it represented an evolution of the show on mobile.

“Embarrassing Bodies has embraced mobile since the outset of the show but this represents a whole new generation of Embarrassing Bodies mobile through which viewers can do things which they can’t do on a laptop or any other device,” he said. “This trio of apps really makes the most of the portability, personalisation and privacy of smartphones.”

The web version of My HealthChecker has seen 450,000 people register and the Live from the Clinic site is estimated to have helped save the NHS around £662,000.

{Republished courtesy of Broadcast}

Links for Ritva

Image

Mary and Dina like playing imaginary twins and dressing trash-chic

(All Channel 4 unless otherwise designated)

Channel 4 Digital Personas

Multiplatform metrics

Street Style – a pilot: photoblogging street fashion (2006) – this is simply the vestiges of the site with no backgrounds/design stylesheets

Style the Nation – second screen aspects can be spotted in this vid (see background here and here, plus show here)

Fashion House - Euro fashion design

How to Start Your Own Country (BBC – Danny Wallace)

Chop or Not - game to cut the budget deficit

Sell or Not – variation for Selling Off Britain Dispatches documentary

X – youth election site (2005) – Election Machine (based on manifestos, matching user preferences to parties) – no longer online

Meet the Natives - viewing a nation from outside

Groovy Fellas (1988) Jools Holland wrote and performed in a six-part comedy documentary series with Roland Rivron, The Groovy Fellas, about a Martian visiting Earth. Basically the same premise as Meet the Natives. Not online.

Train Journeys from Hell – UGC listed on this page, also see YouTube presence

Empties are like chewing gum on pavements

Here’s a telly review from The Observer last weekend which pretty much represents the reception of The Great British Property Scandal. I particularly liked the last line.

The Observer, Sunday 11 December 2011

There’s too little time and space to get into the intricate successfulnesses of (Restoration Man) George Clarke’s two programmes on The Great British Property Scandal but, trust me, he is now doing for empty homes what Jamie has been trying to do for food. National Low-Cost Loan Fund might not sound the foxiest soundbite in the den, but it’s his answer, and it would work, by getting government and councils to let absent landlords (not all ill-intentioned) borrow £1,300 bloody quid and do up their empty homes to a lettable standard.

The angrier he got, the angrier I, and I hope you, got. The government/council lunacy of having families cooped in damp, rat-infested, poke-holes possessed of staggeringly dubious electrical safety, while round the corner lies a perfectly good “empty” which the owners, what with no one lending anything, can’t afford to twitch up to a lettable standard, hurts in that very bad way that happens when your mind hears stupidity.

Clarke managed, eventually, to show how even a little money can turn it around: the family needing not to live in squalor did up the house themselves, more than willingly and actually rather tastefully; the nice owners/landlords got some rent rather than a crippling mortgage for emptiness and a whole family was newly happy. Simples? I have already joined the website which allows you to help in your own area, or at least find out who in charge locally is helping/ unhelping. Empties are like chewing gum on pavements. We never noticed them: now we do.

{published courtesy of The Observer}

And here’s how the project was mentioned last week in the Scottish Parliament:

Motion S4M-01551: Joan McAlpine, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/12/2011

That the Parliament welcomes the Channel 4 series,
The Great British Property Scandal, which, it believes, highlights the problem of long-term empty homes; understands that there are 25,000 long-term empty homes in Scotland; welcomes the Scottish Government’s funding for the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, which is hosted by Shelter Scotland, and further welcomes the Scottish Government’s ongoing consultation on extending council tax charges for such homes, with the intention that additional revenue raised is re-invested in affordable homes, including the re-use of empty homes.

Supported by: Adam Ingram, Sandra White, Fiona McLeod, Annabelle Ewing, Gil Paterson, Chic Brodie, James Dornan, Bill Kidd, Dennis Robertson, Margaret McDougall, John Mason, Marco Biagi, Margaret Burgess, Richard Lyle, John Finnie, Mike MacKenzie, Paul Wheelhouse, Mark McDonald, Colin Keir, Kevin Stewart, Drew Smith, David Torrance, Gordon MacDonald

4 highlights of work this year

As the debt burden of time edges towards the apocalyptic default of destiny, it’s comforting to sit here by the fire with my Sobranie and peat single malt and reflect on the year that was for me at work. It was a fine year, nay a vintage one, and the 4 things that gave me most satisfaction were:

January: The Big Fish Fight with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – the year started by taking online campaigning around TV up a gear

May: Live from the Clinic including My HealthChecker – using Embarrassing Bodies as a platform to experiment with Skype on live TV and data gathering, saving the NHS over 400 grand in the process

July: The Sexperience 1000 – given how cliched data visualisation has already become, an attempt to liven it up

December: The Great British Property Scandal with George Clarke – finished the year as I began with some full-on campaigning

So I’ll sit on here, puff away, muse idly on the last twelve months, and watch the counter on The Great British Property Scandal tick over towards that 100,000…

 

Channel 4 Multiplatform

There was a useful article in this week’s Broadcast about Channel 4′s Multiplatform commissioning and its direction of travel, based on an interview with the Multiplatform Lead, Louise Brown. Here are a few extracts [with a few annotations from me]:

The Great British Property Scandal - starts Mon 5th Dec on C4 at 9:00pm

C4’s multiplatform commissioning lead has been charged with finding innovative ways to get viewers involved in its campaigns [it's not limited to campaigns] through apps and online projects.
Multiplatform and convergence have been two key messages coming out of Channel 4 over the past 18 months, and Louise Brown is heading the team charged with innovation [including me whose focus is features and factual entertainment].
As multiplatform commissioning lead, Brown works with five commissioning editors tasked with working on two-screen projects that create meaningful dialogue.
George Clarke’s The Great British Property Scandal is the latest campaign to be getting the full 360-degree treatment, with a season of programmes supported by a range of multiplatform activity including an iPhone app and an online tool for members of the public to identify where there are empty homes, via mapping technology. The key activity is an online petition.
“It’s calling for a change in the law around long-term empty homes being made available for ordinary people to use, as well as setting up a low-interest loan fund,” Brown explains.
The information will be used by democracy project My Society [MySociety made the tools and app, they don't use the information, the tools pass it on securely] and passed on to the local authorities. Taking lessons from last January’s Hugh’s Fish Fight, which harnessed the mass-TV audience to make a tangible change to policy, Brown is hoping to get more than 10,000 signatures on the petition.
“In multiplatform overall, we are constantly learning; the team’s remit is really to innovate,” she says.
Adam Gee, multiplatform features and fact ent commissioner, has worked on campaigns for both Hugh’s Fish Fight and The Great British Property Scandal. Brown believes his experience can lead to more powerful campaigns in future.

“C4 prides itself on having really impactful programmes. When you have been stirred by a programme, you need to do something with that. That is what is so exciting about having multiplatform at the heart of things now,” she says.
One of the key lessons from the campaigns is that people need to have a variety of access points to do something that is achievable, she says.
Campaigns are not the only area in which C4 is looking to invest. All of its programmes have a web presence, but the level of interactivity will vary, says Brown. “In terms of resources, I would rather have the focus on a few standout, compelling experiences around really appropriate subject matter than try to make everything a little bit multiplatform,” she says.
Brown points to the range demonstrated by The Million Pound Drop Live playalong game, Comedy Blaps, Hippo: Wild Feast Live and forthcoming gameshow Bank Job.
In the ambitious Hippo: Wild Feast Live, a dead hippo was placed on a river and C4 attempted to let the audience watch almost every stage of the animal’s body being consumed as its energy was passed down the food chain. “It came together quite quickly,” she reflects. “Natural history is another area where I really hope we are going to see some more events or experiences. If we get the right subject matter and the right approach, it makes it a uniquely C4 experience. Not everything worked, but if everything is going right, we are not pushing hard enough.”
Despite some technical glitches, the project attracted an audience that was willing to spend time on the website – one of the factors Brown considers when looking at a project’s success.
The starting point when assessing how well a project has done is the number of visits to the site, followed by the number of minutes people spend on the site, and then the number of return visits. On the Hippo project, viewers spent an average of 19 minutes watching a live stream, which culminated in 6,500 hours of live-action views.
Those are the overall markers of success. But each genre should be approached differently as each has its own potential for multiplatform. In scripted content such as drama and comedy, the key thing is talent, says Brown.

Ideas machine

C4 has just ordered 14 developments from 200 pitches submitted after its first ever online briefing. The plan now is to increase the frequency of briefings and the number of commissions. “The total focus of my team is finding new talented companies. Sometimes they are content companies and sometimes they are technology companies,” she explains.
“At next year’s briefings, I would like to see more TV companies interested in multiplatform commissioning. We have some of the best digital companies, who come along with really brilliant thinkers, and I would like some of those TV thinkers to come along and meet with them.”
C4’s strategy of two-screen commissioning revolves around the TV, but over the coming year, we can expect to see a more fluid use of ideas. “I would be gobsmacked if an online idea doesn’t migrate onto TV next year. There are ideas we are considering already. There is already a case where it is has gone into a strand for a show. It is absolutely what we think and know will happen,” she says.
Ultimately, C4’s aim of pushing the boundaries in convergence and two-screen has led to a change in the way it commissions and the type of content it is working with, and a deeper understanding of audience behaviour. The next year will only see it building on that foundation.

How to pitch
Do
•    Know why your idea is perfect for Channel 4
•    Come to our briefings
•    Keep up with our current Multiplatform commissions – what you can learn, where you might overlap
Don’t
•    Overthink it – commissioners want to input/help
•    Assume the involvement of existing C4 talent
•    Pitch comedy or drama without a writer

Cash and Burn

Channel 4 multiplatform: 
A broad development slate
Channel 4 multiplatform commissioners have ordered 14 developments since the online summer briefing.
There’s a non-linear narrative drama and factual-based projects looking at topics such as international finance and food waste, while an entertainment format looks at the depth of friendships online.
Adam Gee has ordered a development looking at international finance. The project, from Cardiff ’s Cube Interactive and Twofour, aims to offer an experience of how international finance works and promises the unusual spectacle of a City trader, a bookie, a housewife and a monkey pitted against each other.
The idea is seen as having potential to translate to TV and could potentially be stripped over a number of days. Ten Alps’ Wasted, another Adam Gee order, focuses on a new chef who promotes how to avoid wasting food. The format will show people how to use their food by the end of the week rather than throw it away.

Intimate Exchanges uses Alan Ayckbourn’s 1982 play to explore the concept of non-linear drama. Multiplatform drama commissioner Hilary Perkins ordered the project from Tern in Glasgow.
A number of potential interactive treatments are being developed based on the themes of the original play. The idea is based on examining how decisions can be made both in a local environment, such as the living room, and how that might compare with regional and national decisions.
An in-depth knowledge of digital culture is the basis for The Network, which is being worked on by Nerd TV. The development, an entertainment format commissioned by Jody Smith, looks at how well people’s online friends really know them, and is another development earmarked as a possible TV transfer.

Reproduced courtesy of Broadcast. The full article can be read here (subscription only).

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